A reader emailed me recently telling me how she is off on a Eurpopean vacation and wanted some help on a packing list. She will be visiting the Mediterranean this September for 18 days and wants to pack her entire wardrobe for the trip in one carry-on suitcase! Whoa!
Of course I am always up for a challenge... and here I put together 18 pieces that I am pretty sure will make 18 outfits... here is the way to do it:
Each bottom (two pairs of jeans and two pairs of shorts) can be worn with a mix and match of tops and layers 3 or 4 times. Then the maxi dress can be worn with layers 4 or 5 times with various layers. There are 5 tops total so if you mix and match them properly with the four bottoms there should be no repeats... Then there are your 18 days!
Tips for packing for a trip in a carry-on:
- Pack a mix of items in the same color grouping. For instance here I focused on some blues, creams and blacks and threw in a few accent colors like coral and army green. This will help make the items you pack easy to mix and match into multiple outfits. You don't want to pack one shirt that only goes with one bottom. You want all the pieces to play friendly together so that you can make endless amounts of outfit combinations.
- Make sure you pack enough dark colored pieces to avoid potential stains. Spill your coffee on that bumpy train? Toddler sitting next to you on the flight with sticky fingers? Stains don't show as easily on dark colors as they do on light colors. Plan accordingly. Also, I love to pack a few small Tide stain wipes and keep them handy for stains. These work wonders!
- Try to choose a few items to pack that you could hand wash if need be. This would include a couple t-shirts, leggings or even casual shorts, that if need be could be washed in a sink with a little shampoo and hung out to dry overnight. If you are caught in a bind with clothes or are feeling like pieces are loosing their freshness this is a great diy way to keep your packing minimal.
- If the weather is cold or you need bulky items like a coat or boots, never put them in the suitcase. Always plan to wear those on your self as you travel by train/car/airplane. That will keep your suitcase manageable to pack and carry.
- Lastly, when packing for a trip to Europe in a carry-on be sure not to pack anything too precious. Cashmere, silk or carefully beaded items may not be practical for the long haul. Instead choose the work-horses of your closet and go with those pieces instead!